Thursday, October 29, 2009

Inspirational Therapy

by Dave White

I've heard people talk about psychologists and therapy for years. Most people I know who've gone love them.

You have a problem to deal with? They recommend therapy. You need to talk to someone about something? Anything? Go to therapy.

Excuse me if I'm a little more Tony Soprano about it. "Whatever happened to Gary Cooper?" he says, as he sits in the therapist's office.

I have my own kind of therapy.

It's writing. You can often tell what's bothering me by reading the first drafts of what I've written. THE EVIL THAT MEN DO is about my grandmother suffering from Alzheimer's. "Righteous Son" was written when I wasn't feeling too confident with myself.

I've dealt with 9/11, church, car accidents, break-ups, and a whole mess of other hang-ups through my writing. That's how I get it out. I get it down on paper, and then I twist it. I twist it until it makes story sense. I twist it until the characters become their own people and now just shadows of myself.

And then I try to deal with the problems. How can I make them better? How would this character make them better? And if that character tries to fix a problem, but makes the wrong choice, what happens next?

By the time I've finished writing a book or short story, I usually written the hang-up out of my system.

And then it's time to focus on the next problem in my life.

Wonder if my next book'll be about turning 30...?


Speaking of, it's my birthday... Happy Birthday me? If you want to get me something, but don't know what... you can easily make me happy by supporting the authors in the sidecolumn over there-------->

Pick up some of our books, if you haven't already. We'd really appreciate it.


Anonymous said...

30 is the new 21, so drink up!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Happy Birthday, Dave. What-- you mean you don't need to have George Bush motivate you?

John McFetridge said...

I heard someone say recently (they may have been quoting Alan Ginsberg) that you should see a psychiatrist as often as you see a dentist - once a year.

I like writing as therapy, works for me.

I also like the Francis Ford Coppola line that he starts with a question and then makes the movie to try and find the answer. Of course, that's why he's financing them himself these days ;) Luckily writing books is a little cheaper.

Happy Birthday.

Dana King said...

I'm halfway between the two extremes. I've bee in therapy, and it helped me a lot. I also think it should be used as a last resort, or close to last resort, after everything else you can think of has been tried. People who have proven themselves to be serious about getting squared away will probably benefit; those who run to the shrink the first time they feel blue are looking for a shoulder to cry on, and won't likely get much better.

Happy birthday, though I hope you'll forgive an old man of 53 who has little grief for someone just turning 30. :-)

Travener said...

Ditto what Dana said, though I'm even older. I did hypnotherapy for a little while and found it useful, though certainly no cure-all to what ailed me. I think writing is my problem, so I don't know that writing makes good therapy... Maybe I should write about that.

Scott D. Parker said...

Never been to therapy. My life's been pretty dang good, all things considered. I'd tend toward the writing as therapy idea since I've actually done it. And I need to get a book out there, plan to, at least. Have an idea to kick-start the process...